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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Wagyu Dreaming

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, August 16, 2013/Categories: Uncategorized, sustainability

It's not often that I would consider a $25 sandwich...that was until I tried a wagyu burger. The lean and super-tender beef, originally from a Japanese cattle breed, may be the best hamburger I've ever eaten.

Wagyu were first brought to Australia ~20 years ago by a livestock breeder who imported wagyu embryos and semen to build a herd of the cattle. Australia is where invitro fertilization was first developed and the breeder's early bio-technology efforts---even using dairy cattle implanted with wagyu embryos as surrogates----paid off well. Prime wagyu beef can now sell for nearly $150/pound and is offered on some menus in Australia. Prime steaks are exported and sold at Harrods in London and elsewhere in Asia for outrageous prices.

Wagyu Cattle (Australian Wagyu Forum)

Australia has been experiencing a commodities boom supplying coal, iron, and other minerals to China. Less well known are the Aussie's creative use of genetics, breeding, and clever marketing to produce specialty agricultural and horticultural products. These high-end, sustainable, efforts help rural farmers, nurserymen, and ranchers and will long outlast the boom and bust cycles common to extractive mining industries.

Maybe someday Wagyu beef will be widely available for Americans. Angus cattle ranchers in Wyoming, Montana, or Texas might not be too happy. At least, I can be 'wagyu dreaming' to see another one of those fantastic sandwiches offered at my local burger joint.


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